Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Why I like driving better than flying

We recently returned home from a trip to Boulder to see my brother David get married to his long-time love, Lauren. We make annual trips to Colorado and typically we drive. This trip was to be such a short one that we decided it was best to fly. I'm now re-thinking that decision.

Side note - When did flying become so much like riding on a bus? I remember when I was young that people used to get dressed up to fly. It used to be a big deal. Not anymore. I saw one guy on the plane dressed in jeans and a small tank top - it wasn't appropriate. Then, after he took his seat, and he immediately removed his boots and then his socks! Is this normal?

Anyway, back to flying. Our departing flight was delayed at the gate. We were told that we had to wait on a mechanic to come fix the back door or something along those lines. After about an hour, a mechanic-looking guy walked with purpose through the plane. Once he got to the back of the plane we heard a door slam and then he walked back through the plane to the front. Apparently all the back door needed was a good slam to get it shut. If that's all it was, I could have done that! I can slam doors, honest I can! Unfortunately, no one asked me to help out.

After the door was slammed properly, we taxied over to the runway. Of course, there was a line of planes waiting to depart. Finally it was our turn. We started down the runway, engines roaring and then the engines suddenly slowed down and we made an abrupt turn off of the runway. The pilot announced that a warning light had gone off and they would have to get a mechanic to check it out or possibly get us transferred to another plane. I'm thinking another plane sounds REAL good right about now. I take a look at Rominal and he is in good spirits telling me that you just have to laugh it off. He was trying to keep me from getting panicked. After a while the pilot comes back on and says that we are now cleared for take-off. But what about the warning light? Did the just unplug it? Nothing was mentioned. Ok - laugh it off, Wendy. Take your mind off of the warning light. We take off without a hitch and finally get to Colorado Springs about 2 hours later than we were supposed to. Now granted, if we had driven, it would have taken us about 13 hours and we arrived in around 8 hours. Don't worry - I'll show my math. We left the house at 3:00pm (Texas time) and didn't arrive until around 10:00 (Colorado time) - so that was 8 hours total. So, the plane was 5 hours faster on this trip.

For our return trip, we were scheduled on a Sunday flight out of Colorado Springs. American Airlines has 6 flights out of Colorado Springs to DFW every day. For some reason, our flight was cancelled. By the time we got to the airport and found out, the only other flight that day was booked. I even asked about flights out of Denver. Rominal was so mad that he had to go sit down. He couldn't even hold a conversation. So, my only choice was to get ourselves booked on the next flight out of Colorado Springs for the next day. I rented us another car and we drove back out to my parent's house. I called to confirm our flight arrangements on Sunday night and discovered that they had booked Bailey on the return flight, but not me and Rominal. AGGGGGHHHH!!! Luckily, there were still seats available and we were booked as well. However, they would not let us get seat assignments. They said that this had to be done at the airport.

Monday comes along and we go to check into our flight and the only seats available are in the very last row - the seats that used to be occupied by a closet according to the flight attendant who was joking with us on the flight. So, there's no window. Fine, whatever. However, after this flight I now know though that I MUST look out a window or I start to get car sick. I had the fan thingy on high blowing on me as we were landing.

So, time-wise, our scheduled flight was on Sunday at 3:15 (Colorado time). We left for the airport at 1:00 that Sunday. We didn't get home until around 5:00 the next day (Texas time). That's 27 hours total! We could have driven both ways in this time. And, if we had driven, I could have packed whatever I wanted, I could have looked out the window all that I wanted, I could have made Rominal stop to let me go to the bathroom anytime I wanted (I'm NOT going on a plane) and I wouldn't have had someone in front of me leaning back into my magazine. I'm thinking we are driving this October.

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